Page 1 The World Health Organisation (World Health Organisation, 2008) states that the indigenous peoples of Australia are one of the most disadvantaged indigenous groups in the developed world. The health of the Indigenous population of Australia is an increasingly pressing issue. Current research and statistics reveals great inequality in many areas of health care and health status between the Aboriginal people and the general population of Australia. Couzos and Murray (2008, p. 29) report that the Indigenous population has “the worst health status of any identifiable group in Australia, and the poorest access to health systems.” This paper will examine the underlying historical contexts and contributing factors that have lead to the
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As reported by Thomson et. al. (2010, para. 3), almost one-quarter of Indigenous people are classified as living in a remote area with very little access to goods and services or opportunities for social interaction. Couzos et. al. (2008, p. 18) also consider poor access to GP's as shown by a 2000-2001 survey of GP's. As reported, only 0.8% of GP visits were by Indigenous people, though they make up 2.6% of the general population. Furthermore, more than 70% of GP's did not see a single Indigenous person during the survey period. This under representation of the Indigenous population visiting GP's indicates a clear need for increased access to professional health care, and is just one factor of many which demonstrates the need for improvement in the health and wellbeing of the Australian Indigenous people.
Page 4 Diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition which can result in many major long term health complications such as stroke, kidney disease, blindness and greatly reduced life expectancy (Allman, 2008, p. 80, Zeng, 2006, p. 73). Diabetes can be classified into three main types, with the second type, non-insulin-dependant diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) the main form developed as a result of lifestyle factors. As reported by Thomson et. al. (2010, para. 2), NIDDM is currently “one of the most important health